1923 to 1972
August 26, 1901 in Oklahoma City
June 8, 1972
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States
James Andrew Rushing (August 26, 1901 – June 8, 1972) was an American blues shouter, balladeer, swing jazz singer, and pianist from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, best known as the featured vocalist of Count Basie's Orchestra from 1935 to 1948. Rushing was known as "Mr. Five by Five" and was the subject of an eponymous 1942 popular song that was a hit for Harry James and others; the lyrics describe Rushing's rotund build: "he's five feet tall and he's five feet wide". He joined Walter Page's Blue Devils in 1927 and then joined Bennie Moten's band in 1929. He stayed with the successor Count Basie band when Moten died in 1935.